Chairman’s hike raises almost £2,000
Almost £2,000 has been raised by the Chairman of Malvern Hills District Council following the completion of his 160 mile Hike for Health and Happiness.
Cllr John Raine finished his fundraising challenge on Saturday (10 September), having spent ten days walking through every ward in Malvern Hills District. The aim was to raise money for three local mental health organisations - Positive Thoughts, Jigsaw and Link Nurseries – as well as encouraging people to talk more about mental health issues.
He was greeted by supporters and the Mayor of Malvern, Cllr Cynthia Palmer, as he arrived at The Greater Malvern Show on Saturday lunchtime with his wife Susan and fellow hikers.
After announcing his fundraising total he told the crowd it had been an amazing experience and he hoped to see the day when mental health was no longer a taboo subject and regarded with the same status as physical health.
He and others then signed the Time to Change pledge, committing them to doing more to challenge the stigma around mental health.
Cllr Raine said: “The Hike for Health and Happiness has been a wonderful experience in so many ways. It was a chance to discover various hidden gems within our beautiful district that we had not previously visited - like Elgar’s Birthplace Museum and Leigh Court Barn – as well as being an opportunity to traverse the wonderful countryside and enjoy fantastic panoramas. We also got to meet, walk and converse with many of my colleague councillors, and others who kindly joined us for a stretch of the hike.
“It has all been so enjoyable and worthwhile, but a particularly inspiring moment came on day six when we visited Link Nurseries at Powick, met the new manager and heard about the positive prospects for re-establishing the horticultural therapy work there which proves so helpful to people recovering from mental health difficulties.”
During the hike Cllr Raine has stopped off to meet different people at various locations across the district. They include children at Pendock CE Primary School, who presented him with a donation and a handmade card describing how the hike had encouraged them to discuss the subject of mental health.
He also played three organ recitals at local churches, and was called upon to play the piano for the hymn ‘One More Step’ in assembly on the first day of term at Broadheath Primary School.
Cllr Raine’s wife Susan completed the hike with him, and they were accompanied for various stages by councillors, council staff and PCSOs from West Mercia Police.
To find out more about the hike, visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/hike4health or to donate visit https://www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/hike4health. A video capturing some of Cllr Raine’s journey will also be available to view shortly on the official Twitter account @Hiking4Health and on the Malvern Hills District Council Facebook page.